A colleague at my (new! 3 months only!) place of work mentioned this week that there were only 12 weeks until Spring.
Being the new girl in the district, I hesitated to make a ‘thing’ of it – although I was tempted.
You see, it’s one of my triggers : how we mark the seasons of the year. It irritates me that many people can’t see how beautifully simple it is.
We have 52 weeks in a solar year, with 4 seasons. That’s 13 weeks per season
When each season starts appears to vary from person to person. Here in the southern hemisphere, the Winter Solstice is celebrated on or around June 21st. Now here comes the nub of the whole “season” matter:
If you call this day “MidWinter”, you have just fixed a point around which you will have to configure all the other seasons.
I have no idea what’s so hard to understand about “mid” and “Winter” coming together in one word. It’s the mid-point of Winter, right? So in another 6 and a half weeks it will be the end of Winter, right? That’s around the first week in August, and I get to call it Imbolc.
Unfortunately for me, most Seffricans believe that Spring starts either at the beginning of September, or else on the Vernal Equinox, around 21st September.
But how can that be? Unless you are counting Winter as starting either at the beginning of June or at the Solstice…which we’ve agreed to keep calling Mid-Winter, OK?
“Mid” does not mean “start”. It means the bloody middle, people.
So, figuring from this fairly rock solid premise (and assuming 4 seasons of roughly equal length, unlike the Celts, who really only had Summer and Winter), the Vernal Equinox would be the middle of Spring, the Summer Solstice the middle of Summer (or MidSummer!) and the Autumnal Equinox on around March 21st would be the mid-point of Autumn.
That leaves 4 points as ending/starting days for each of the seasons. And as luck would have it, many Pagans already celebrate on these days – Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnassad and Samhain. The start of each season.
So pardon me while I revere the very depth of Winter – when the apparent Sun reaches its lowest point in the heavens as seen from Earth – as MidWinter. That’s in just one week from today.
And Imbolc, the start of Spring, a scant 6.5 weeks later, in the first week of August.
Makes frighteningly proper sense to me.
More sense-making goodiness here.